Transgender soldiers sue Trump over military ban

Transgender soldiers sue Trump over military ban
© Getty Images

Transgender soldiers are suing President Trump over the administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military.

"This action, brought on behalf of transgender individuals, seeks to ensure that all qualified Americans have an equal opportunity to serve in the United States military, that transgender individuals are free from arbitrary and invidious discrimination and that the constitutional rights of transgender individuals to autonomy, privacy and freedom of expression are respected and protected," the suit says.

The complaint was brought by transgender people who have taken steps to enlist in the military and other openly transgender active service members, according to a BuzzFeed reporter.

It says the directive from Trump denies them "equal protection of the laws, their right to freedom of expression, and their right to liberty and privacy."
ADVERTISEMENT

Trump last month signed a presidential memo instructing the Defense Department to stop accepting transgender people who want to enlist in the military.

Trump's memo bars transgender people from enlisting, but instructs Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisWatchdog: Former Pentagon spokeswoman misused staff for personal errands Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment MORE to further explore how to handle transgender people currently serving in the armed forces.

It orders the Pentagon to stop paying for sex reassignment surgeries, except in cases that are already in progress to "protect the health of an individual."

It also says the Pentagon should develop an implementation plan for the ban by Feb. 21, 2018, to be put into place on March 23, 2018.

The memo came after Trump's previous Twitter announcement that he would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

This is not the first suit filed against the administration since the Twitter announcement.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of five transgender service members, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a suit following the presidential memo.